Why Standing Stones?

Why Standing Stones?

In ancient Israel, people stood stones on their end to commemorate a powerful move of God in their lives. It was a memorial to something God spoke or revealed or did. Often these standing stones became reference points in their lives. Today, we can find reference points in the written Word of God. Any scripture or sermon can speak something powerful into our lives, or reveal something of the nature of God. In this blog I offer, what can become a reference point for Christians, taken from God's ancient word and applied to today's world.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Word About Intention. Mostly My Intention but Hopefully God's, As Well

The Standing Stones Sermon Blog is written to offer encouragement, teaching and self-examination for people. It is filled with sermons that I have preached both at the church I pioneered in Riverside and the church, here in Taoyuan City. I take my notes and fill them in, in written form. I don’t write out my sermons in the form you see them prior to preaching them. They are in note form, so that I can have “trigger points” to preach out of. Writing them out in this form makes me concentrate on form, sentence construction and making the word of God easily understandable. That’s the real point for readers of this blog. I want people to be able to clearly see how the word of God can bring change to their lives. I want them to be able to see the power of the Kingdom of God.

What is interesting is that the sermons that deal with sin are sometimes received very critically. I’ve been told, I need to calm down. I’ve been told that religion shouldn’t be a burden. Well, the truth is that the word of God should bring correction to our lives. Sin must be confronted, so that it can be repented. Some of the sermons in this blog focus on the need for an examination of our lives, our hearts and our intentions. This is essential to a successful Christian life. It is also a major part of sermonizing. People can’t respond to the call of God in their lives until they recognize that they are living against the will of God.

This is why we were given the "Law" in the first place. So that we would recognize where we have violated the will of God. So we would understand our rebellion toward God. We can see we are sinners. The "Law" calls attention to the fact that we can’t ever be good enough on our own to enter the kingdom of God. Who has never lied? Who has never stolen? We're all sinners, we all fall short of the glory of God. We might think that what we have done is not a "big sin:" That really, we’re good people and so what we have done will be overlooked. But this is not so! In God’s eyes all sin is an affront to him. All sin carries the same penalty, the Bible says, ”The wages of sin is death.” All sin requires the death penalty. If the penalty for each sin is the same then all sin is equal inthe eyes of the judge.  If this is true, then none of us will enter the kingdom of God, because we have all sinned.

This is why God sent Jesus as a redeemer. Jesus is the one who has paid the penalty of our sin. His death is the death that was required by our sin. So you, I, all of us are the ones that put Jesus on the cross. His death releases us from the penalty of that sin. But we must believe: That he is God and the remedy of our sin and we must repent and begin our lives again. Christians call this being born again. It is also essential to entering heaven.

The sermons contained in this blog are written for that purpose. They are also written to encourage people to focus on, and live out, the will of God for their lives. The title of the blog was chosen after thinking about the purpose of the blog. As I say in the introduction the purpose of the stones that were stood on end were to mark the times when God moved powerfully in the life of the person who stood it up. They were to be reminders to people as they passed them that God had moved there. That God had done something. I look at the sermons that have been preached to me as the “Standing Stones” in my life. Those sermons have caused me to look at my life and what needs to be changed so that I can more fully live out the will of God for my life.  Some of the sermons that I have heard are reminders of what God has done for me and in my life. My intention with the sermons provided in this blog to cause us to look at lives: To see where we need to work harder to live out God’s will: To recognize when God has done something powerful in our lives: and where necessary to repent of sin. The sermons themselves can be a “Standing Stone in someone’s life.

Feel free to copy them off the site and save them on your own computer or to share them, with other people. The word of God is always free.

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